Helping journalists cover COVID-19 pandemic safely and ethically

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IAWRT Vice President Abeer Saady shares her time and expertise

Abeer shared her expertise and insights to help journalists cover the pandemic safely and ethically.

by Lady Ann Salem


IAWRT Vice President Abeer Saady is a safety trainer and the author of IAWRT’s Safety Handbook for Women Journalists “What if…?”, now in English and Arabic. She has given safety training to journalists working in hostile areas in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Bahrain and elsewhere. She has also given safety training in IAWRT international conferences, such as those held in the Philippines and Uganda.


When the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in February and governments imposed various measures to control the outbreak, covering the pandemic has also become a safety issue for journalists. For one, they are risking their own health and safety every single day to provide news and information to the world. The lockdowns and other measures imposed have also been used by some governments to limit or restrict coverage by media or also used the current situation to undermine freedom of expression and press freedom. Some governments are now easing lockdowns and the world has yet to feel the blow to the economy and big job losses in the media may also be expected.


In various Zoom webinars and online forums, Abeer shared her expertise and insights to help journalists cover the pandemic safely and ethically.


This is to help make sure no one gets hurt on the ground or get imprisoned while covering events that some government may have restricted during this time, as well as be on their guard to exercise and defend freedom of expression and press freedom.


ICFJ Webinar 21: Journalism Safety on the Frontline: How to Protect Yourself While #CoveringCOVID

Streamed on April 27, 2020


How can journalists protect themselves physically, psychologically, and digitally while #CoveringCOVID? What should employers be doing to support them? And what long term effects should we prepare for now? Abeer Saady and Dart Center Asia Pacific Director Dr. Cait McMahon joined International Center for Journalist’s Global Director of Research Dr. Julie Posetti to explore these issues and share practical advice that journalists can immediately begin implementing on the ground.






ARIJ Safety and Ethics Challenges Covering COVID-19 with Abeer Saady

Streamed on April 10


What are the occupational safety measures currently required during the coverage of the Corona Virus pandemic, depending on the nature of my work (as reporter, photographer, radio / TV set, news editor, investigative reporter)? How do I protect my equipment and maintain my physical and psychological integrity? How do I deal with different ethical dilemmas (promoting rumors, checking news, straining authorities, evading official sources, respecting privacy, dilemmas related to photography and publishing visual materials such as photos, videos and statistics)? Do I go to the stone hospitals to get a special story? What are the rules for conducting interviews with patients and experts?


These and other questions were answered during the fourth ARIJ digital meeting in 2020 as part of the ARIJ series and webinars.





Goethe Institut Kairo webinar on science reporting and fake news

Streamed on May 6


Abeer Saady was interviewed by Ashraf Amin, director of the scientific department at al-Ahram newspaper, on misleading information and safety measures for journalists in times of COVID-19. See video here.